Health in a Heartbeat earns AAMC Award of Excellence

The consumer public radio program “Health in a Heartbeat” has won the Association of American Medical Colleges’ national Award of Excellence in the Electronic Communications, Non-Web Based category.

A collaboration of the University of Florida Health Science Center, WUFT-Classic 89 and WJUF-Nature Coast 90, and Shands HealthCare, the series launched in January 2000 and features two-minute segments on consumer health and the latest medical research findings, patient-care breakthroughs and health-care industry trends.

The program has covered more than 2,000 topics — as basic as why people sneeze to more complex issues such as how cholesterol-lowering drugs may raise the risk of nerve damage. The goal? To entertain and educate, inform the public about health and wellness issues, and serve as a catalyst to inspire consumers to think about important health matters that affect their daily lives.

“ ‘Health in a Heartbeat’ provides useful health and medical information to listeners in an easy-to-digest format, in a way they can fit it into their busy schedules and hopefully put into practice,” said senior producer Melanie Fridl Ross, associate director of Health Science Center News & Communications.

The AAMC praised the program for its professionalism and the “thoughtful, considerate manner in which the stories were developed.”

Scripts are reviewed by UF Health Science Center faculty members, with a final approval by the program’s medical editor, Dr. Whit Curry, a professor and chairman of UF’s Department of Community Health and Family Medicine. The program features the voice talent of Sue Wagner and currently airs on public radio stations in 18 states and Washington, D.C., with a listenership of more than 3 million.